WEST SIDE MUSIC TEACHERS
Mr. Brent Chiarello - Music Chairperson
Ms. Heather Daniels-Rosenblatt - Orchestra Director Mrs. Daniels-Rosenblatt's Website
Mr. Phil Gray - Band Director Mr. Gray's Website
Ms. Leah Martin - Chorus/General Music Mrs. Martin's Website
Welcome to the Music Department
Welcome to the West Side School Music Department! The music faculty is dedicated to creating an environment in which children are actively engaged in expressive and joyful music-making experiences. As music educators, we firmly believe that all people are innately musical. Just as each person is capable of language acquisition, each person possesses the ability to read, write, and make music. The West Side School music faculty takes pride in helping all students reach their musical potential.
The General and Choral Music Program
Children in grades 2 through 6 receive classroom music instruction. They gain an understanding about the basic elements of music: melody, rhythm, harmony, expression, form, and instrumental color. Students explore these concepts through activities and games involving listening, singing, moving, composing, and playing instruments.
The music classroom is equipped with a variety of percussion instruments such as xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, hand drums, and triangles. Children in 3rd grade are introduced to the recorder in order to complement their improved dexterity and fine motor skills. It is through instrumental study that students become proficient in music notation skills.
Every effort is made to integrate music with the social studies curriculum. As a result, students perform in many music festivals with grade level related themes. Some examples include Thanksgiving Day (2nd), Heritage Day (3rd), Colonial Day (4th), and the Medieval and Renaissance Festival (6th).
American folk songs, patriotic, and seasonal music make up the core of the general music curriculum. These songs encourage children to discover the history and values of their own American heritage and culture. Building a repertoire of songs that all students can sing together fosters a powerful sense of community, cooperation, and school spirit. There are many opportunities for group singing – the Early Morning Assembly, Earth Day/Birthday celebration, and Graduation.
Finally, the general music curriculum emphasizes accurate and expressive choral singing as the foundation for all further musical development. As such, 4th graders perform in a beginner level chorus toward the end of the school year; 5th and 6th graders in a combined intermediate level chorus during the winter and spring semesters. Individual and small group vocal coaching is available for eligible older students who participate in the annual NYSSMA and All-County Chorus Festivals.
The Instrumental Music Program
The instrumental music program begins in third grade. Through an exploratory and “hands on” approach, third graders are given the unique chance to play several different orchestral and band instruments. In this way, students get to know which instruments they most enjoy and play with greatest ease. The orchestra and band directors work closely together to observe and assess the talents and strengths of each child. With guidance from the music faculty, children are better able to make informed decisions as to the instruments they will choose for formal study the following year.
In fourth grade, small group instruction ensures that each student is given the individual time and attention they need to be successful. Please note that lessons are scheduled once a week for one half hour. Students use method books and learn how to read music notation. In the spring, once all elementary reading and performance skills have been mastered, students participate in a large ensemble experience—either beginner band or orchestra. Along with the fourth grade chorus, they perform in concert at the end of June.
Fifth and sixth graders continue in the instrumental music program as advanced beginners and intermediate players. They study scales, sight reading, and they refine their playing technique. Students participate in Concert Band and perform in the Winter and Spring Concerts. In addition, West Side offers a Jazz Band and coaching for NYSSMA, Long Island String Festival and All–County Band and Orchestra.
Communication with Your Child's Music Teacher
Please visit teacher websites for specific course information. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the music faculty at (516) 692-7900/7901. It is always our pleasure to help you!